The Congress on Tuesday, 14 August, dared Prime Minister Narendra Modi to dissolve the Lok Sabha and announce general elections, along with state polls in the four states at the end of 2018.
Congress general secretary Ashok Gehlot said that postponing the upcoming state assembly elections and conducting these with Lok Sabha polls in 2019 is "not possible" under the Constitution or the law.
"There is only one way of holding simultaneous elections. The prime minister should dissolve the Lok Sabha and hold polls along with the four state assembly elections," Gehlot told a press conference, adding that "the Congress will welcome it. We are prepared."
The Chief Election Commissioner of India, however, on Tuesday said that to undertake such a massive exercise -- simultaneous elections in 11 states and 2019 general elections -- more VVPAT machines will be needed within two months.
"There are not enough VVPAT machines to conduct 11 state elections simultaneously with Lok Sabha polls in 2019. If such a thing is to be attempted, more VVPAT machines will have to be ordered and a decision in this regard will have to be taken in a month or two," News18 quoted CEC OP Rawat as saying.
The Congress upped the ante against the PM, just a day after BJP President Amit Shah wrote to the Law Commission, saying “simultaneous polls is not only a concept but a principle which can be implemented.”
In his eight-page letter, the Bharatiya Janata Party chief said the opposition to simultaneous polls seems to be politically motivated.
The law panel, which is examining the feasibility of holding simultaneous polls, had sought the views of the political parties before finalising its report.
Both the BJP and Congress had stayed away from consultation organised by the commission in this regard last month.
(With inputs from PTI)